UMG Donates 200,000 Songs to Library of Congress; Gurf Morlix Covers Blaze Foley; Country Music Sales Down In 2010
- Universal Music Group is donating some 200,000 vintage master recordings to the Library of Congress for preservation and digitizing, the majority of which is out of print. UMG is holding on to the copyrights though, which will still allow the company to commercially release the best stuff once it’s cleaned up and sorted through.
“Hopefully,” Hansen said, “this [donation] means there will be a chance somewhere down the road for people to hear not only Bing Crosby’s hits but all the [Universal-owned] country stuff like Milton Brown, Ernest Tubb and Webb Pierce.”
- For his latest album, Gurf Morlix chose to pay tribute to his old pal Blaze Foley with 15 covers of the late songwriter’s songs. The album, Blaze Foley’s 113th Wet Dream, will be released Feb. 1, which coincides with the anniversary of Foley’s death. Here’s video of Morlix performing the album’s closing track, “Cold Cold World.”
- In the spirit of cover songs, check out Twang Nation’s YouTube playlist of some of the best Townes Van Zandt covers. And then visit Texas Music Matters for audio of “Mr. Mudd and Mr. Gold” from the man himself at a 1992 Cactus Cafe show.
New releases for the week of January 11, 2011 include:
- Craig Havighurst dubs 18 South his favorite new/unsigned/indie Nashville band of 2010. The supergroup — consisting of Jon Randall, Jessi Alexander, Guthrie Trapp, Jimmi Wallace, Mike Bub, and Larry Atamanuik — has plans to release its debut album this year, but until then check out some their stuff on MySpace.
- Also from Craig Havighurst is this nice profile on Shawn Camp and his recently unshelved album 1994. Click through to listen to three of the songs.
“I didn’t move to town to be on that chart with the people I was on the chart with, honestly. I wanted to be on the chart with George Jones and Roger Miller and Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash,” Camp says. “If I was going to be the singer in the band or be playing songs in a country band, I wanted it to be old-school country as much as I could.”
- Here’s Ashton Shepherd‘s new video for the song “Look It Up.”
- The Kansas City Star‘s Timothy Finn on Easton Corbin‘s Saturday night show:
He filled the rest of his set with several covers, all of which blended seamlessly with his own material. Two were songs made famous by Alan Jackson: “It Must Be Love” and “Where I Come From.” One was Merle Haggard’s “Working Man Blues.” Another was Kenny Chesney’s “Don’t Happen Twice.” Except for the Haggard tune, if you didn’t know they already belonged to others, you might think they were all Corbin’s songs.
- Justin Townes Earle impressed with his performance of “Harlem River Blues” on Letterman last week.
- If you liked Personal File, the acoustic collection of Johnny Cash songs from his personal vault that was released a few years ago, you’ll be glad to hear that a second collection will be released on Feb. 22, From Memphis To Hollywood: Bootleg Vol. 2. American Songwriter has all the details.
- All about earworms.
- The New York Times‘ Jon Caramanica attended a recent Hot Club of Cowtown show:
Several songs were drawn from the band’s new album, “What Makes Bob Holler” (Proper American), to be released next month and consisting wholly of interpretations of songs by the western swing pioneers Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys. Recorded in single takes and modestly produced, it’s one of the most consistent Cowtown albums, a showcase for its vibrant and sometimes risky faithfulness to the genre.
- Folk Alley posted a three-song session with Mollie O’Brien and Rich Moore on YouTube: “Saints & Sinners,” “Lonely For a While” and “Losers.”
- Associated Press’ Steven Wine says the Dale Watson‘s Carryin’ On was one of 2010’s overlooked albums:
“Carryin’ On” includes drinking songs, a cheating song and a song about a country song, with Dale Watson addressing these well-worn subjects in a familiar Merle Haggard croon. Yet there’s nothing stale about this retro set; the material’s so strong and so expertly delivered that the songs satisfy like a first sip at the neighborhood tavern.
- Pam Tillis is headed back to the studio:
“The older I get, the more mature I get, the more I appreciate my heritage and roots. Gosh, I wish more people would go back and listen to old country music. Young kids should go on YouTube and listen to the classic old-school guys; they would be surprised how cool the music was. It wasn’t all done with bells and whistles and Auto-Tune; it was real and heartfelt. That’s what inspired me,” she says.
- Country music sales dropped five percent in 2010.
This is one of the finer songs from Derek Hoke‘s standout debut:
- Leeann Ward: Thanks, NM. I like a good pop hook, to be honest. So, maybe I need to try it again.
- Barry Mazor: OK, Jim Z. That changes everything. I surrender.
- Jim Z: to call the Dirty River Boys an "Austin area band" is still incorrect. They are based in El Paso.
- nm: Leeann, you and I often have similar tastes in more-traditional country. And, to my ears, Sam Hunt's voice and lyrics …
- Barry Mazor: Matter of fact, as always--I did. The notes say the album was recorded & mixed by and at "The …
- Roger: Looking forward to picking up the Jamey Johnson Christmas EP - love all of those songs and can't wait for …
- Jim Z: that record was recorded in El Paso. (you could look it up) and other than appearing in Austin once in …
- Leeann Ward: Yes, I can always use more dobro in my life! Thanks for the Phil Leadbetter tip! I haven't been able to …
- Barry Mazor: OK, Jim. The record's more or less out of Austin. But I'm sure they're also good in El Paso...
- Jim Z: Dirty River Boys are from El Paso, Texas.